SOCIAL MEDIA

No aspect of the worldwide web has dominated like social media.

This collective of online communication channels is dedicated to community-based input, interaction, content-sharing and collaboration.

It has made everyone a desktop publisher, allowing us to create, share of exchange information, career interests, ideas and pictures/videos in virtual communities and networks.

It’s a public depository for insightful background and educational information, as well as the kind of inconsequential pablum that only the person who posts it cares about.  (No, not interested in what you had for dinner last night!)

Our fascination with it is mindful of the locals columns that used to occupy the news hole of community newspapers. “The John Jones hosted newcomers Sally and Rick Birdsall to their home Sunday evening for a chili supper. A good time was had by all.”

Yet to business or nonprofits seeking to share insightful and/or potentially valuable information, social media is made to order. Not only is it addictive, it has quickly become our communications’ drug of choice.

Why?

Human nature.

Social validation is important to all of us, whether we admit it or not.

When we “like” a Facebook post it’s a social signal, affirming our existence in the same way someone nodding at you on the sidewalk does.

Leveraging social media platforms in all their forms is a challenge to organizations preserving and growing their brands. No longer does big business have exclusive power over what consumers see, think or buy. Understanding how this balance has shifted and how it can make or break a social marketing campaign is vital.